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US House panel to hold impeachment hearings next week

The probe centres on whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

FILE: US President Donald Trump speaks to the press. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee will hold public hearings for three days next week in its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, the panel’s chairman, Representative Adam Schiff, said on Tuesday.

The witnesses for the committee’s hearings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week have already given closed-door depositions, Schiff, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry begin on Wednesday. The probe centres on whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

Next week, National Security Council official Alexander Vindman; Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence; former US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and National Security Council official Tim Morrison will testify on 19 November.

Testifying on 20 November will be US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper and Undersecretary of State David Hale.

Former National Security Council official Fiona Hill will testify on 21 November.

Schiff said Democrats had accepted all of the Republican requests for witnesses “that are within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.”

On Saturday, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes, sent a request for witnesses that included Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, and the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint touched off the inquiry.

Nunes also requested the testimony of Hale, Morrison and Volker.

Democrats have not yet officially notified Republicans which of their witnesses have been accepted or rejected, a House Republican source said.

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